Standing Wheelchair!

Hello everyone! I feel like I’m constantly apologizing because of my neglect as a blogger, but I have really amazing news!

I’m very happy to say that I’m currently sitting in the wheelchair so many of you have been fighting for me to get! Luckily we found the initial quote I received ($60,000+) was the retail price. We had to pay over $20,000 out of pocket. This was for the standing feature, as well as a few other really great things, that insurance did not cover.

Receiving this wheelchair was only possible because of your hard work, kindness and generosity Thank you for your time and donations to Aaron’s Journey. I’m fortunate to have you all.

This was a big chunk of money to come from my fund. There are on-going monthly expenses that my insurance doesn’t cover. Please keep your eyes open for future fundraisers and if anybody has any good ideas for fundraising, let me know.

Thanks again from the bottom of my heart. More pictures and maybe even a video to follow soon! In the meantime, please click on the link right under this paragraph that says ‘standing wheelchair’.

Standing wheelchair


Walk for Aaron – New Fundraiser!!

My Dad’s EAHS graduating Class of 1975 has decided to have this walk the same weekend their alumni are in town for their class reunion. Thank you so much to them, the Elizabethtown Masonic Village and all sponsors. Below please find a PDF including all the information about the walk, including a registration form. Thanks again to everyone involved and to those who will be walking!

EAHS Class of 1975 border


Six Years

Today, August 18, 2015, marks six years since the accident. It’s hard to believe that much time has passed but on the other hand, sometimes it feels like it’s been much longer. I really appreciate that my Uncle Curt started this website in the first place. Then it was a great place for people to come and check on my progress from reading posts that my family and friends would leave. Who would’ve thought it would turn into my own blog?

I’ve come so far in these six years which was only possible because of God and the countless people that have come to my aid when I needed them the most. From those people, my family has undoubtedly and unselfishly given the most. A simple thank you to everyone doesn’t quite seem like it does justice for what I feel, but I really can’t quantify it!

So, here’s to the next six years and whatever it may bring. There’s no doubt – we will be ready!


Hello!

Hello everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. Thank you so much for those of you who have, continue to or just started following my journey. It means the world to me and I apologize that I’ve not done my part in keeping up with this blog. I will try to do my best to keep you updated. I just wanted to write a short message, so that’s it for now. Please check back shortly for a new message from myself and fundraiser October 10!

Talk soon!


All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast – $5.00!

This Saturday, May 16 from 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM, there’s going to be an all you can eat pancake breakfast for only $5.00!  This will be held at the Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682 in Elizabethtown.  Proceeds will go directly to my fund, Aaron’s Journey.  If you are interested in making a donation because you cannot attend, you may do so at the following link – http://www.aaronwood.us/?page_id=38, or just simply look to the left side of the screen and click where it says, now accepting donations.

All money raised will go towards my goal of hopefully someday being able to afford a very much needed standing wheelchair.  They are around $60,000 and insurance will not help cover any of the cost.

Thank you so much for reading!  Hope to see some of you there.

Aaron

 


December 20th Fundraiser

So excited about a fundraiser that a friend from high school, Jarrett, has put together.  It will be held at the Blue Ridge Country Club, December 20, starting at 5:00 PM.  Tickets are $40.00 and may be purchased at his foundation’s website, http://www.judyselvesfoundation.com/.  They are going fast from what I understand!  If you’re interested, please purchase yours as soon as possible.  We would love to see you there!

Information about the fundraiser – http://www.judyselvesfoundation.com/event-information/

Please check it out, as well as the meaning behind what Judy’s Elves stands for and the importance to Jarrett.

Thank you for your support!


AbleThrive

I’ve been lucky enough to become friends with Brittany Martin over the past few months.  She is the founder of AbleThrive (http://blog.ablethrive.com/about), an online support network for those with disabilities, their friends, families and so on.  This is still relatively new and constantly growing but even so, I think it’s a great source for those of us living a disabled life!

Brittany has asked me to contribute to the site by writing a weekly blog.  Hopefully the readers find this interesting and sometimes helpful.  I’m personally very excited and thankful for the opportunity!  Here’s a link to my first attempt!

http://blog.ablethrive.com/post/100081523604/4-tips-to-dating-online-with-a-disability

 


ScentsyHaley Burns is hosting 2 catalog party fundraisers for Aaron’s Journey: Scentsy & Gold Canyon Candles. Both parties will close on October 27th!

For more information about these fundraisers, go to the event notification on Facebook. You do not need to be a Facebook member to visit this page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/357056304452660/?ref=22

Aaron has participated in an aggressive therapy program at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) at Kennedy Krieger in Baltimore. He works on a home therapy program ICSCI developed for him. Initially diagnosed as an “ASIA A”, the worst possible injury (ASIA E indicates normal function), he has progressed to “ASIA C”. This means that his body is trying to recover the neurological connections it needs for his muscles to work again.

ICSCI is a one of a kind, cutting edge program, only partially covered by Aaron’s insurance, so he incurs a good bit of out of pocket expenses. Much of the costly therapy and equipment Aaron needs is not covered at all. Aaron‘s wheelchair currently needs to be replaced. He recently had to replace the part of his chair that he uses to control the chair’s movement. Insurance did not pay for that; the cost was $2000. The new wheelchair Aaron needs assists him to rise to a standing position. This is beneficial as Aaron suffers from blood clots in his legs and standing and putting weight on his legs helps his circulation.

Aaron’s road to recovery is a long one and there are no guarantees. We thank you for standing with us in faith, prayer and support of this fundraiser so that we may assist with, and continue to hope for, Aaron’s recovery.


Hello!

Hello everyone! I’m sorry that there has been such a gap in between posts. Everything has been going pretty good on my behalf, minus trying to fight off something right now. The Dr. thinks it’s a virus. I’m just glad it’s not pneumonia. Thank god I have not had that since July when I had my neck surgery. Speaking of surgery, everything is still going great regarding my baclofen pump. I had my two week follow-up last week when he took off the strips holding my incision together. He was very pleased and does not want to see me, unless there are any issues, for a year! I feel very fortunate. March 24, 2014 at 4:00 PM. Now if I can only remember that for a year!

I recently celebrated what was one of my coolest birthdays to date. Obviously everyone always looks forward to 16, 18 and 21 years of age for reasons I do not have to explain. You would think anything over 30 would be a little depressing, but I do not think I will have to worry about that for the rest of my life because I now share my birthday with my stepson. It was very cool to see him getting excited for his special day, and mine, as the time got closer. I have never been a big fan of my birthday but now I have a reason to be, if only for his sake! He recently took an interest in roller skating so this is what he wanted to do for his party. We did this the week before our birthdays and it was a lot of fun. On the actual day, we had family to our house for an amazing ice cream cake which Melissa made. I will never forget the first birthday I got to celebrate with Brock!

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I do not have too much else to report. I hope everyone is doing well and I will write again soon!


NCAA Tournament

This is my favorite time of year! When the NCAA tournament begins! I love filling out multiple brackets to see how I do, although it’s normally not too great. I formed a group on Yahoo which is free and I invite all of you to join, no matter your skill/knowledge level. It’s free and should be fun. All you need is a yahoo account, which is free as well.

Please join in!

http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/t1/group/2960


Installed

I now have a Baclofen pump. It feels a little weird. Something I will have to get used to overtime I’m sure. Not to mention that it is still swollen and my body is still adapting.

I was always such against having this because the idea of something foreign in my body is a little creepy. I already had some metal in my foot and more importantly my neck that I did not ask for. Going through with the surgery guarantees that this will be in my stomach area for the next 6 to 7 years, unless something happens to the device before hand. What a commitment. My spasms have just gotten too out of control, past the point of medication, and I was running out of choices. Being constantly hesitant about going out and wondering if you can enjoy yourself without spasming and needing pulled up gets old after a few years. I was obviously ready to take whatever steps necessary to do what I thought would improve my quality of life.

So, how did it go? According to the doctor, perfectly. According to me? I realize it’s very early, but so far, not a regret in the world! My mom picked me up from the hospital and from getting dressed, out of bed, getting into my wheelchair and leaving, the ride home to entering the house, no spasms! It’s unbelievable. It’s like I’m in someone else’s body. Unfortunately they just happen to be paralyzed as well! :-)

That’s where we are right now. I’m sure just like with anything else there will be good and bad things to come of this. I will obviously be updating everyone as the time goes by and let you know of the changes I experience. I appreciate any of you that may have read my posts and prayed for me. I have no idea who even follows this blogs anymore since I neglected it for some time. Hopefully some of you are still around and I can win you back! If only for 5 minutes a day!

Hope everyone is doing well and I will write soon!


Baclofen Pump and Some Other Things

So, it’s been a few days since my trial which went great! We were so pleased with the results and the possibilities that this could offer and allow me to do as far as therapy goes, without the spasms. The physical and occupational therapists were also impressed. It’s really a no brainer for me that opting for the surgery is the only answer. I will be having this tomorrow morning, hopefully spending very minimal time in the hospital. I cannot wait to come home, heal and start to feel like myself again.

We also had our new furnace installed. That could have not happened sooner! It really stinks being a quadriplegic and not really having a thermostat in my body that matches everyone else.

Melissa and I went to a couple’s retreat this past Saturday which was a lot of fun and beneficial for the both of us. It consisted of only couples dealing with disabilities in one form or another. There were seven in our group and I think 35 couples overall, the others being parents who have children with disabilities. Again, it was great. We get to me some really cool people and hopefully made some good contacts.

That’s really about it for now. Pretty much just taking it easy today in lieu of tomorrow morning and however many days afterwards it takes to fill normal again. I’m really confident that it’s not going to take much at all, but who am I?

Sorry it took me so long to inform everyone of the results, assuming you cared. Hope you all are going well! Melissa or I will put the post up tomorrow if possible to give an update of how things went.

Take care!


Let’s Try Again

Tomorrow morning we will be waking up around 3:30 AM or so in order to get to the hospital by 6:30 AM. I’m going to get this baclofen trial a go again. Last time they forgot to tell me to stop taking my blood thinner in advance, which I did this time. Hopefully there’s nothing we forgot this time because I think Melissa and I would go crazy. If not completely mad.

So what do I have to look forward to? A gigantic, very nice and flamboyant man picking me up out of my wheelchair to put me into the bed. I knew that he and I did not see eye to eye when he asked if I saw Magic Mike and when I said no, informed me of what was missing out on. Sorry but I think I’m doing just fine without it! Either way, he’s a really nice guy and he did a lot for us last Monday despite the circumstances. He was very helpful, which I’m grateful for. After all of that is said and done, I get to have the needle in my back! Yippee! What a wonderful Monday.

So, here’s to tomorrow going smoothly! Oh yeah, we will be getting our furnace Wednesday. Hopefully before the big storm hits, which will probably turn out to just be flurries anyway. Although I would rather a blizzard!

Take care everyone! I will touch base and let you know how it went.


Not Even a Week

Well, we have not officially lived in our home for even a week and we are needing to make a major upgrade/replacement. A few seconds before the heat would kick on, I would small gas. Not good. Yesterday I finally figured something was up and Melissa called UGI to have someone come. Apparently this was a much bigger deal than I thought because she said someone would be here within 30 minutes. Much to my surprise, they actually were.

The gentleman from UGI indicated that whatever machine he was using was detecting carbon monoxide and basically the house was unsafe. He shut off the gas to the furnace and then turned the furnace off as well. Fortunately we are still able to use the gas to cook, keep our water warm, etc. We needed to have someone else come take a look at whatever was happening with our furnace, which we did, and they indicated the issue could not be fixed and the entire unit needed to be replaced. We freaked out. Thank god we purchased a home warranty which will cover a huge amount of the cost.

We are however, living without a main way to heat our home. Thank god family has come through yet again. Cousin Nate let us borrow a few space heaters which worked wonderfully last night and today. Melissa did hear from the home warranty company and the new furnace has been approved and hopefully will be installed between this coming Monday and Wednesday. We are keeping our fingers crossed for as early as possible.

So that’s our latest excitement. That and I started experiencing excruciating pain in my neck again. Hopefully this will pass. Also, my baclofen procedure has been rescheduled for this coming Monday so we are definitely looking forward to that.

I hope everyone as well!


Trial? Failure!

So my morning got started at 4:00 AM today to get ready for my baclofen trial. We were to be at the hospital by 6:30 AM but we were running behind and got their closer to 7:00 AM. Really no big deal there.

I get checked in, taken upstairs to where everything is going to go down, get transferred into a bed from my wheelchair and got changed. Then they started trying to insert an IV. Wow. Total failure. I think they tried four times. I think they were trying for probably the fifth time when the Dr. showed up and told us he was unable to do the procedure because I was taking a blood thinner. He was well aware of this but never told me to stop taking it days before the procedure, as they should have. He apologized and took full responsibility.

There is more to this story that I will share later but right now, that’s about all I can write without getting completely frustrated all over again. The good news is I believe I will be going back next Monday to try again.

I will keep you posted!


Moved In and More

So we finally moved into our house yesterday! I’m so thankful for my family and all of the help they offered with the entire ordeal. Everything went great and as of right now, everything is really coming along, getting unpacked and it already looks like home! It’s a good feeling but we definitely miss my Mom and and the old house. We are so pleased despite the mixed feelings. It’s not like she’s going away; at least we hope not! :-)

Without any real time to take a breath, tomorrow Melissa is going to accompany me while I do a baclofen trial for my ever bothersome spasms. We have to be at the hospital around 6:30 AM, meaning we will probably get started around 4:00 AM, if not earlier. Fortunately this is not an overnight stay, at least it’s not supposed to be. I will be admitted, giving local anesthetic, followed by an epidural to administer the drug to see how my body reacts and if I am a candidate. I forgot to mention, prior to any of the actual testing, a physical therapist will evaluate me and my spasticity prior to receiving the baclofen. Then, he or she will check in with me every so often throughout the day to see how things are going. They said this generally takes 10 hours, give or take I would imagine. We shall see!

Both of these things are very exciting times in my life! The trial could potentially be life changing, just because how bad my spasms have gotten and how they have altered my life, and obviously purchasing and moving into your first home with your family goes without saying!

I hope you all are well and I will check back with you soon!